Seeking to better connect with and serve treasury professionals in the Middle East and Africa region, the Association for Finance Professionals (AFP) recently launched the Middle East and Africa (MEA) Treasury Advisory Council. Made up of impressive individuals working in the treasury profession in this region, AFP hopes to develop its understanding of their unique challenges and needs and, as a result, be a greater source of support.
GOAL OF THE COUNCILThe goal of the Council is to provide thought leadership, expertise and advocacy for the treasury and finance community of the Middle East and Africa region through an engaged networking advisory group who will meet eight times per year to share ideas and discuss best practices and common challenges. The information we gather will be shared with the AFP community through articles, research and events.
“The Middle East and Africa region has been neglected in terms of support for our peers in the treasury profession,” said Jim Kaitz, president and CEO of AFP. “As an association that has always strived to fully support finance professionals around the globe, we believe the formation of the MEA Treasury Advisory Council is a great first step toward providing these amazing professionals with the focused support they need.”
MEETING BIG CHALLENGES HEAD-ON
The inaugural members kicked off their first council meeting by discussing the projects they are working on and the key challenges they’re striving to meet in 2022.
Top projects/priorities and challenges of the council members include:
- Financing challenges, particularly in regard to leasing and three-way factoring.
- Foreign exchange in official and parallel markets, interest rate management (several rate hikes expected), currency devaluation management and cost of funding issues.
- Credit management: heat from banks for business/economic changes, indirect suppliers impacted by Russia/Ukraine, as well as the coronavirus pandemic.
- Shipping costs increasing, supply chain management issues and the related impacts on cash forecasting.
- Payments integration on a host-to-host basis.
- Policy started on Strategic Reserves Fund, investment management and cash management.
- Out-of-budget expenses: managing cash around them, justification and working with senior management.
- Implementation of TMS from spreadsheets, and getting more out of TMS implementation.
- Capital structure management.
- Devaluation of currencies and the impact on importers.
- Working capital management in the current economic climate, and the impact on working capital with a focus on the commodities market.
- Managing treasury technology: the impact of being a change influencer/agent for implementation.
- Capability of the team: sourcing/engaging/managing, or do you outsource?
- Corporate finance: educating, learning and teaching them.
- KYC process.
- Geopolitical conflicts with Russia.
- Customer/vendor impacts of rising prices: extensions and impact on working capital.
Members of the MEA Treasury Advisory Council include (based on alphabetical order):
- Rania Afifi, Associate Director Treasury, Misr Italia Properties, Egypt
- Mohammed Saud Al-Eid, Cash Operation Manager, Maaden, Saudi Arabia
- Gulrez Ali Sayed, Treasurer & Financial Risk Management, Saudi Cargo, Saudi Arabia
- Ahmad Al Jukka, Treasury Manager, Ras al Khaimah Stat. Gov., UAE
- Hisham Abouldahab, Group Corporate Treasurer, Almansour Automotive, Egypt
- Mideva Lumire, Head of Treasury, Unilever Tea, Kenya
- Ahmed Makhlouf, CFO, General Motors, Egypt
- Emad Galal Elmesalami, Group Finance and Treasury Director, Saudi Chemical Company Holding, Saudi Arabia
- Mina Nasif, Chief Visionary Officer, Beacon FinTrain, Egypt
- Mohamed Seddeak, Treasury and Corporate Finance Head, Nahdi Medical Co., Saudi Arabia
- Nihan Yılmazer, Regional Treasury & Finance Manager, TAV Construction, UAE/Turkey